When creating an eCommerce website, some people don’t bother to assign SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) to their product. Whereas, it’s essentials to use SKU even though you’re running a small eCommerce. It simplifies your work in managing products.
SKU, or also referred as product code, is an alphanumeric code used to identify a product. The SKU is unique for each product and used for internal tracking purpose only so that if the same product is sold by different sellers, the SKU can be different too. Furthermore, SKU is usually used to refer products in the inventory list, order form, invoice, etc.
Why You Should Use SKU
- Differentiate Product
Surely it’s the basic of SKU benefit. SKU helps you to identify your product easily. For example, you can easily identify what type, color, and model based on the SKU. This way you can avoid shipping the wrong product to the customers. Moreover, identifying related items for the upselling or cross-selling purpose is easier.
- Managing Inventory
SKU helps you to be faster in managing product inventory. It gives more accuracy of maintaining product stocks; how many are available, or which product is out of the stock.
- Sales Tracking Value
As you can easily maintain the inventory, you can easily track the profit too. You can analyze which product is sold more or what color your customers mostly like. Thus, you can determine which variation of products you should improve or discontinue.
- More Professional
Having SKU becomes the standard in selling products. It is even required for multi-channel selling. When you want to sell your products in other stores, you may need to input the SKUs too. For instance, if you want to sell on Amazon, you’re required to assign SKUs for your products. It is because SKU is used to access all product information quickly.
How to Create SKU
There is no exact rule in creating SKUs. You can combine letters and numbers based on the product itself. You can assign the important characteristics of the product such as brand, product category, color, or even size. The order of the code should follow the natural hierarchy of the product. But the format of SKU is still up to you.
For example, you want to create SKU for shoes from Dahz 2017 series. You can make it as DHSH178WH. DH is the code for the brand, SH is the type of product, 17 is the code for the series of product, 8 for the size, and WH for the color. You can generate the information from the SKU that the product is Dahz Shoes from the 2017 series, the size is 8 and the color is white.
In WooCommerce, you can input SKU directly when you add a product within the Product Data. There you can input the SKU, manage the number of stock quantity and stock status. In Upscale, you can feature products to display simply by inputting the SKUs of the products. You can feature the new arrivals or highlight the discounted products easily.
Tips on Creating SKU
- Use consistent format.
- Keep it short and simple to be easily understood; better keep it as 8-12 characters.
- Don’t use special characters; if you must, only use dashes (-) or underscores (_).
- Avoid using letter O, I, or L that can be confused with numbers.
- Don’t use zero at the beginning, use letters instead.
SKU certainly helps you to ensure the accuracy and efficiency in managing orders and product inventory. When your eCommerce becomes bigger with much more products added, surely you don’t have to start from scratch to use SKU for managing inventory.
What is the SKU format you decide to use? Do you find your work easier with SKU? Leave your thought in the comment below.